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The Life & Nature of Scotland's Scenic Isles

L2415

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Beautiful view over the rocks towards the lighthouse, Sumburgh Beautiful view over the rocks towards the lighthouse, Sumburgh

28 May 2024

Newcastle

8 nights

Balmoral

Your cruise at a glance

Hand-crafted highlights

We have designed this itinerary to take you on a discovery of natural wonders and wildlife found close to home, yet off the beaten track, amongst remote Scottish isles. You will be joined on board by wildlife charity ORCA, whose team of enthusiasts will help you spot sea birds, whales and dolphins from Balmoral. Discover Orkney’s fascinating history in the well-preserved Viking town of Kirkwall or on a tour to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, and learn about Shetland’s farming traditions accompanied by a local crofter. Your smaller ship can dock in Lerwick, while scenic diversions are planned to show you sites such as the Small Isles, the volcanic formations of Bac Mòr and the basalt columns of Fingal’s Cave.

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Highlights

Guests looking out from deck to Fingal's cave

Craggy Coastlines & Idyllic Islands


This cruise will offer you the chance to witness the distinctive and symmetrical columns of Fingal’s Cave, as Balmoral sails close enough for you to see it looming metres high from the ocean, and said to be the adjoining piece of road to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Many native seabirds congregate here, including puffins, razorbills and guillemots. Sumburgh Head is home to a historic lighthouse with a distinctive tower, and cliffs full of seabird colonies, particularly during the breeding season. Due to Balmoral's smaller size, you'll be able to cruise close to the Small Isles, and see the volcanic formations of Bac Mor. You will be joined on this cruise by Ian Archibald, who will provide fascinating scenic commentary around the Scottish islands.

Sheep dog

Traditional Scottish Islands way of life

Immerse yourself in traditional Scottish island life and discover the Gaelic culture that permeates through this enchanting region. Enjoy listening to music, songs and stories from local musicians, and take part in singing a Gaelic song; visit a Shetland croft to discover everyday life with a local crofter and his sheepdogs; or spend time with captivating miniature Shetland ponies. Join us at a Highland Park Distillery to try a drop of the local dram, and also sample local Scottish whisky on board Balmoral at a tasting event. You'll be joined on this cruise by Chrisanne Macleod Robertson, from the Isle of Lewis, who will share her experiences of living on the Island, and its way of life and culture.

Whale Tail as seen from deck

Seabirds & Marine Life

This cruise offers you the chance to see an abundance of marine life and seabirds at the right time of year. Join wildlife charity ORCA out on the decks of Balmoral  to locate and identify whales, dolphins and other cetacean species; and as you near Sumburgh Head be sure to keep your eyes on the cliffs for migrating birds such as guillemots, shags and fulmars, and passing cetaceans including minke whales, orcas and dolphins. Get closer to Orkney's varied birdlife by joining a superb birdwatching tour through farmlands to an RSPB Reserve.

Itinerary

Cruise Itinerary

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Life On Board

Introducing Balmoral

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open deck space.

Balmoral
Fred. Olsen ship Balmoral sailing at dawn

Balmoral

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral offers a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

710 cabins
1,325 guests
551 crew
43,537 GT
16kts max speed
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Our Signature Experiences

To make your experience even more special, our Journey Planners have designed a unique programme of Signature Experiences which will allow you to discover real insights about the culture and nature of the places we are visiting, so you can arrive in each destination fully prepared to get the most out of your visit.

Itinerary Insights

We have carefully curated a programme of events to give you a deeper understanding of each of the destinations you will be visiting

Scenic Discoveries

Our Scenic Discoveries are designed to allow you to enjoy seeing the world from the unique perspective of our ships

The Ship and the Sea

Maritime is in our DNA - our history in shipping goes back almost 200 years

The Sky at Sea

There’s very little in the natural world more beautiful than a clear night sky, sunrise or sunset seen at sea

Treats of the Region

We love to bring a taste of the region's food, drink, local tastes and culinary traditions to life on board

Sample Shore Tours

At each port of call on your cruise, we carefully research and hand pick Shore Tour options for you, designed for you see as many of the world's best destinations as possible.

Below, you will find some sample Shore Tours which will give you an example of what to expect on your cruise. Your Shore Tours will be available to book approximately 8-13 weeks prior to departure via your My Cruises account.

Crofting Shetland

Crofting Shetland

Enjoy working sheepdog demonstrations, a talk on their training, and see some iconic Shetland ponies and sheep with local crofter, David Murray.

££££

Lerwick

 Orkney's Wartime History

Orkney's Wartime History

Together with a specialist Wartime Guide, embark on a tour of Orkney and visit historic sites such as Stromness, Ness Battery, Scapa Flow and the beautiful hand-painted Italian chapel built by Prisoners of War.

££££

Kirkwall

Harris Tweed Workshop

The Harris Tweed Story

On this tour, embark on a scenic walk from the harbour to Stornoway Town Hall with the Harris tweed Workshop leader. Enjoy a two-hour demonstration on how to make this classic product and create a bespoke souvenir to take home.

££££

Stornoway

Your Guest Speakers

We’ve arranged for some wonderful guest speakers to join us for this cruise. They will be delivering a programme of insightful talks and activities to deepen your cultural, artistic and historical understanding of the destinations we will be exploring, well as helping you to enjoy the natural beauty of the places we visit.

Isle of Lewis Local

Chrisanne Macleod Robertson

Chrisanne was brought up on the Isle of Lewis, and Gaelic was her first language. She will be joining us to share her experiences on the island and lead a workshop teaching Gaelic songs.

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Ian Archibald
Seafaring History

Ian Archibald

Scottish Cartographer Ian Archibald will be on hand throughout the cruise exploring the history of the Norse people and their seafaring history as well as relating his personal involvement surveying maritime activities on the west coast of Scotland.

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ORCA
Ocean Wildlife

Orca

Founded in 2001, ORCA is a group of Ocean Conservationists. Join them out on deck to search the seas for marine life.

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Treats & Pastimes

In addition to our Signature Experiences, we have a selection of lovely Treats & Pastimes for you to enjoy when on board. Just check your Daily Times each day for full details.

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Cabins, Prices & Offers

Cabin Options On Your Cruise

* Prices correct as of 17:00 27/02/2024, based on the lowest available Cruise Only fare, and on two people sharing a twin cabin. Please call +441473746175 for live availability & prices.

* Prices correct as of 17:00 27/02/2024, based on the lowest available Cruise Only fare, and on sole occupancy. Please call +441473746175 for live availability & prices.

Cabin Grades

Standard Pricing Solo Pricing
Suite

Balcony Junior Suite (BJ)

Balmoral's Balcony Junior Suites have a large cabin area and private balcony

Freedom Fare From £3,799 pp
Please Call
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Suite

Superior Suite (SS)

Located on decks 9 & 10, Superior Suites have a balcony and large cabin area

Freedom Fare From £3,999 pp
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Suite

Marquee Suite (MS)

Situated on deck 10, Marquee Suites have a private balcony and large cabin area

Freedom Fare From £4,699 pp
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Suite

Premier Suite (PS)

Located on deck 10, Premier Suites have a private balcony and large cabin area

Freedom Fare From £4,999 pp
Please Call
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Suite

Owner's Suite (OW)

Exclusive Suite - please call for more details

Freedom Fare From £5,499 pp
Please Call
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Cruise Offers

FREE drinks or FREE on board spend   Freedom Fare

What's Included

SO MUCH ALREADY INCLUDED

As well as our Signature Experiences, there is a host of other treats to enjoy on board our ships.

Enhance your cruise

Each of our cruises has been carefully designed for you to get the very best out of your time on board; and now you can enhance your cruise to make it even more special.

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